Patrick Cantlay makes a superb par at the second extra hole to win his maiden PGA Tour title at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Patrick Cantlay made a remarkable par at the second hole of a three-way play-off to clinch his maiden PGA Tour title at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
Cantlay appeared to be cruising to victory in regulation until he bogeyed the final two holes in a nervy finish to drop into a share of the lead with Alex Cejka and Whee Kim on nine under par.
With light fading, all three players failed to hit the green with their approaches to the 18th – the first extra hole – and they were also unable to get up-and-down as Cejka came closest to winning outright when his 15-foot putt for par shaved the right edge.
After returning to the 18th tee, Kim effectively took himself out of the equation when he pulled his drive into the desert scrub and was forced to take an unplayable lie, while Cantlay blocked his tee-shot into the right rough behind a collection of trees.
Cejka could not take advantage as he came up short and right with his second before Cantlay took the bold decision to go for the green rather than pitch back out to the fairway, and his gamble paid off although his ball bounded over the back of the green.
Cejka’s pitch spun more than he anticipated and left him another 15-foot putt for par, while Cantlay’s sublime putt from the rear of the green came within an inch of finding the cup and settled just 18 inch beyond the pin.
And after Kim missed his putt for bogey, Cejka’s par-saving attempt missed on the low side to leave the stage clear for former amateur world No 1 Cantlay to tap in for a memorable win, earning him a two-year exemption on Tour.
The 25-year-old, who played 11 events last season on a medical extension after a lengthy period out of the game with a back injury, had earlier taken control of the tournament when he followed an outward 33 with four consecutive birdies from the 11th.
But he three-putted from close to 100 feet at the 17th, and he then blocked his approach to the final green and had to hole from six-feet to post a 67 and join clubhouse-leader Cejka on nine under par.
Cejka had finished his round some two hours earlier, surging up the leaderboard with six birdies on the back nine, including four in a row to cap a dazzling 63.
Kim also made an impressive charge after the turn as he carded five birdies in seven holes before missing a 15-foot par putt at the last which would have secured him a one-shot win in regulation.
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November 9, 2017, 6:00pm
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